I’m too sober for this

“I can beat that,” I tell my friend, laughing too loud even for the too loud cafe. We’ve been entertaining each other with funny and funny-because-they’re-sad stories from work. I know my next story will win the undeclared competition: “My boss came up to me at a Christmas party and honked my boobs.”

I can tell I have her attention by the abrupt silence and wide eyes. “A guy?” she asks me, I think already knowing the answer.

“Nope,” I tell her. “It was a woman.” And I smile and pause. “She was very very drunk, but that’s what she did. She came up to me and, well, honked my boobs.”

“What did you do?” she asks me, her tone a mixture of disbelief and disgust.

“She realized what she did and apologized. And I moved away from her quickly. If it had been a guy I might have made a bigger deal about it. I wasn’t actually sure what I was supposed to do, how I was supposed to react. It wasn’t sexual, but it was inappropriate.” I sigh and add, “It didn’t help that I was completely sober. I thought my face was going to burst into flames I turned so red with embarrassment. And I couldn’t even hide behind a nice buzz.”

My friend and I talk a bit, marveling at the awkward situation I just told her about … and she’d been the first person to hear that story, except of course for the dozen or so people who actually saw the boob-honking happen. And now, all of you.

“I should have realized then and there that our working relationship was doomed, when she honked my boobs and thought a laughing drunken apology would wipe the slate clean. Because, really, how do you get past something like that?”

And, of course, I win the worst-story-from-work contest we’ve got going. But, in this case, I really don’t think that’s a good thing.

Trying to reinvent myself

Reinventing Myself (more info at palomacruz.com)

One of the biggest challenges I’ve been seeing lately is trying to answer questions about my plans for the future, immediate and long-term. I’m unemployed, I should be frantically looking for a new job … but I’m not. I should have some idea of what I’m going to do for money (a job or freelancing) … but I don’t. I should have some idea of what I would like to do in a business (assuming I “launch” one) … but I don’t. I actually don’t know anything right now. It’s disconcerting.

I give my family and friends a lot of credit, they’re being very supportive. They haven’t started to freak out on me yet. They haven’t started to push yet.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want another job, but I haven’t “decided” that yet. I’m pretty sure that I want to start my own business, but I haven’t taken the first steps to make that happen. I know that I want to do more fun things and to be more visible in offline events; this is one thing I have actually started to do.

I have started to rebrand myself, from a new cut and new clothes, to changing the type of writing I’m doing and reassessing what I want to show professionally. I think this may be my first step. But I need to establish some timelines; I can’t spent too long finding myself. At some point bills need to get paid.

I changed my life … now what?

I changed my life ... now what?

Have you ever wondered what happens the day after “happily ever after?” The day after the revolution? The day after you upend your entire life and change everything?

I did that a few weeks ago — changed my life. Well, sort of ripped it apart a little. Made a change that has an impact on everything. Now I’m wondering what I’m supposed to do next.

We identify ourselves a certain way — by our families, loved ones, careers, achievements, even by our looks — and we get attached to that way of thinking. I am the sum of those parts. When you take away one of them, what’s left?

Don’t mind me. This is middle-of-the-night rambling. I’ll make more sense with more sleep.

So I quit my job today …

I-Quit!

I didn’t intend to do it. I was going to be professional, calm, adult-like. I was going to update my resume, start to look for a job discretely, find something then leave. It was a plan.

I made that decision mid-morning.

Then I realized that that idea of going into this workplace on a daily basis was making me hyperventilate. It was making me sick to my stomach. So, then, I realized that I need to quit now. So the plan was that I was going to write my letter of resignation and turn it in tomorrow.

I made that decision mid-afternoon.

Then I sat in a meeting and got so worked up, so upset that I walked into my boss’ office and told her that I was going to quit and that the letter would follow shortly.

I made that decision late afternoon.

In two weeks I will be unemployed for the first time in my adult life. I don’t have a job waiting. I don’t have a plan. I don’t know what I’m doing next.

All I know is that I’m so relieved that in a few weeks I don’t have to go into that workplace any more. I don’t have to navigate those people any more. I’ll be done.

It’ll hit me soon. Right now I feel like someone pulled a huge weight off me. Ask me how I feel in two weeks.

I didn’t know I wanted that until you told me I couldn’t have it

2013.10 chocolate cake 6814174341_efb33150bf_zI never aspired to the corner office. I never looked ahead and thought “I want to be the CEO” or “I want to be Vice President.”

For the most part, I let my career just sort of happen. It was aimless, but successful.

In my own way I’ve achieved a certain level of… limited renown for my area of expertise (under my other, everyday name). And that, too, has just sort of happened.

I’m wondering now if that was a mistake.

I heard someone say once that regret is just wondering about the roads not taken. That’s what I’ve been doing lately, wallowing in regret. Wondering what would have happened if I had done this thing or that thing,

Many of the decisions I’ve taken were influenced by factors that were unmovable. I couldn’t not take care of my family. I needed security because if I failed, I took down many people with me.

I didn’t have the options, the freedoms other people enjoyed. And I’ve made peace with it… or at least I thought I had.

Today, I’m not too sure about that.

I am over 40 and many doors are closed to me. There are things I just can’t do, things that are nearly impossible for me now. And after last year, things that are actually impossible for me now.

I’m having moments of regret.

Don’t worry, though. I will eat a slice of chocolate cake and it will go away, at least for a little while.

Photo courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/25897810@N00/6814174341.